How many times has Apple faced a certain death? If TMO’s Death Knell Counter is accurate, at least 65 times since 1995.
That’s a lot of death knells for a company that continues to churn out record sales and profits nearly every quarter. Sooner or later some death knell proponent may be correct, but even the Mac is faring well in the post-PC era. How so?
Disruptively Re-innovating Innovation
That’s my own phrase and it covers a lot of territory. Most of Apple’s competitors innovate, but few have a track record of disruptive innovation.
For Apple it started with the original Apple product back in the 1970s. Along the way Apple became the Mac and both were ruled dead by tech pundits.
A funny thing happened along the way to the funeral. Like Phoenix rising or Dr. Who, Apple managed to transmogrify the company and the Mac.
Here we are in the 21st century and the most popular PC line, even in the post-PC era herald by Apple’s iPhone and iPad, is… drum roll, please… the Mac.
Apple’s once-left-for-dead Mac now garners over half the industry’s profits, and while sales of traditional Windows-based PCs shrink in number, caught in a tight vise-like squeeze from Apple on the high end, Google Chromebook notebooks on the low end, and mobile devices which everyone owns, the Mac’s sales have increased.
Let me call it Apple’s ability to transmogrify products at the expense of competitors.
transmogrify |transˈmägrəˌfī, tranz-| verb (transmogrifies, transmogrifying, transmogrified) [ with obj. ] chiefly humorous
transform, esp. in a surprising or magical manner: the cucumbers that were ultimately transmogrified into pickles.
The Mac is back. Again. This time with record sales on a product line, other than the Mac Pro, that hasn’t seen much more than incremental innovation for a few years. How is it that Apple’s Mac has weathered the economic storm that is driving mobile device sales at the expense of PCs?
Just think what would happen if Apple improved the MacBook line with light but strong recyclable bodies, faster CPUs, more RAM, higher screen resolution, and longer battery life. And, then coupled that with a powerful desktop operating system that seamlessly connected with the most popular mobile devices, and pulled the user’s data into a cloud storage environment where files were accessible to every device, all the time.
Then, what would happen to Mac sales if Apple partnered with a company like IBM, which owns much of the enterprise world but doesn’t sell products that compete with Apple, and instead can equip iPhones and iPads with apps that help businesses become more efficient and productive?
Only a dickhead would look at the Mac, iPhone, and iPad line, combined with OS X and iOS, the App Stores, iTunes Store, and still think Apple is beleaguered.